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Elderly parents

How will I get my mother to the doctor?

4 replies

BlueInkSpill · 08/05/2023 19:20

For the past 18 months I noticed some things that are somewhat concerning. Some behavioural changes. Sometimes she goes silent and there's long periods of silence and no conversation. Easily bored and easily anger. I have a long list of stuff that doesn't seem to be right. Its all very vague. One or two things I could write off but theres an accumulation of things.

I was concerned last year and i mentioned my concerns to her GP. Her GP rang her for an over '65s check' and my mother went. I had to go to work so I don't know what was involved for that appointment. I don't know the outcome of the appointment either. My mother was happy and said it all went well.

However there is still some things happening. There's still some things that don't seem right. And it's all very vague.
One of many - she seems to have a lack of spacial awareness. She doesn't drive but it's appesring in other ways. She has an armchair in the kitchen and some times depending on its placement by her, it's like a throne where it trumps up everything else within the kitchen. Leaving little space for anyone else to sit.
The spacial awareness is coming in yet again. She wants me to look online and buy a new clothes rack. She wants two clothes racks. We already have 4 clothes racks in the home. There is one clothes rail in the kitchen. 2 in the hall. One in a bedroom. And that's 4. I'm at a loss as to Where's she's going to put 2 new clothes rails? It's not going to go into any other of the bedrooms. There's no space. It can't go into the sitting room because it won't be ideal.

So there's a lack of spacial awareness and there's a range of things not quite right.

For a few years now she has been experiencing headaches. She refused to go to the doctor about these. She self diagnosed migraines. I'm not one bit happy about any of this. I think these headaches should be investigated at this stage because it's so prolonged. When she does get these headaches they last for days. She refuses even something as simple as paracetamol saying she doesn't want to take medicine. None of this makes sense. She's making up and plucking up triggers time and time and time again.

Basically I am now at a stage where I know she will never go to the doctor and talk about this headaches. She's never going to go to the doctor and tell her GP that she's experiencing headaches. Now I think it's going hand in hand with my suspicions of dementia.

I am not able to sit down with my mother and tell her of my suspicions because even on other milder topics I am often met with back answers, sarcasm and anger. For example a simple question of - are you going to town tomorrow - is met with a bad tone - 'sure what do you think... Followed by a rant'.

I don't have power of attorney because I didn't know what it was until last year and she didn't have the capacity to understand. She was apathetic towards it.

She's 70. So what now. What happens now? I strongly suspect that there's something happening with her and she neglecting her own health.
All my own siblings live abroad.
Her own siblings don't have much to do with her.

OP posts:
BishopRock · 08/05/2023 22:13

Why doesn't she have capacity with regard to POA? My mum has dementia but still has capacity 'in the moment'. So if I explained what it was to her, she'd get it, but forget it not long after. Luckily I got POA when she was a bit better than she is now, but a solicitor should be able to approve an application. But your mum may be generally reluctant, and that may have nothing to do with her health.

When it comes down to it, if she won't see a doctor, if she refuses POA, then you have to work around that.

ICouldHaveCheckedFirst · 08/05/2023 22:23

You can email/write/ call her GP and express your concerns, in as much detail as you want (what you have written above and more). It will be kept in your DM's medical file. Without POA the GP won't discuss her medical business with you, but they will read and listen, and may follow up.

Re POA. Both PILs had dementia, and didn't have POA in place. They had often mentioned it in the past but had never done anything about it. DH had a chat with our own lawyer. He prepped the forms and came to their house for a chat with them. DMIL was all for it and signed right away, but DPIL was a bit unsure. Lawyer explained, using sensible examples, how it would benefit him if he granted POA to DH, to enable DH to support him to live where and how he wanted. Thankfully he signed.
POA is not a magic wand, but it did make it an awful lot easier for DH. His parents were still perfectly capable of expressing their wishes and preferences long after they had lost the ability to make things happen.

MereDintofPandiculation · 09/05/2023 08:55

Without POA the GP won't discuss her medical business with you Not quite true. A GP will discuss her medical business with you if they have a signed letter from her asking them to.

AnnaMagnani · 09/05/2023 09:11

Are you sure she doesn't have capacity?

I did my FIL's when he had dementia. OK he was totally apathetic about it but he understood it would let MIL be able to decide medical things about him and manage his finances if he was poorly. I organized all the papers so he just had to sign in the right places rather than read through everything.

A few weeks later, I don't think he did have capacity but having absolutely everything done for him and stressing 'You know you trust MIL' got us through by the skin of our teeth.

You don't need a solicitor or a doctor to do it - we did it ourself and used FIL's neighbour as a witness.

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